At The Bottom Of The Post There Are Links To The Three Other Brackets
With the way the 1st and 2nd rounds went, reading up on the sweet 16 round is a must if you want to cash in.
Who you got?
The Kentucky Wild-Cats, now that Kansas is out of the tournament, are the highest ranked team with the AP Sporting News listing them as the #2 team in the nation. In round one, they thumped East Tennessee 100-71, only to follow it up with a 90-60 thrashing of Wake Forest. The Wildcats are for real with four players who averages over 10.0 points per game during the regular season (three averaged above 14.9). As stated in my Elite Eight & Four Bubble teams write up, if Kentucky wants to win it all, they can’t depend on solely on John Wall and must involve DeMarcus Cousins early and often. Well, the Wildcats have done better by having Eric Bledsoe and Patrick Patterson put up 29 and 22 respectively in the 1st round game (Wall and Cousins combined for 22), and in the 2nd round, Darius Miller was the top scorer with 20, as Cousins added 19 and Wall put up 14. If the Wildcats continue to average 95.0 points per game as a team and have five starters who are so hot, that any of them can put up over 20 on any given night…. watch out! Kentucky hails from the SEC Conference (South Eastern) and has rivals Vanderbilt and Tennessee as the second and third ranked teams in the SEC. The Wildcats are 34-2 with their only losses coming in conference shockingly against the South Carolina Gamecocks back in late January and a loss to Tennessee in late February.
Wow, you tell me the last time an Ivy League team got to the Sweet 16 and I owe you a beer. We all know who else in in the Ivy Conference (Princeton, Harvard, Yale etc.) but none of these teams ever contend in the NCAA Tournament… almost all the time they exit during the first round, if they even make it there. Not the Cornell Big Red, who went 28-4 this season (13-1 in conference) and smarty-pants Ryan Wittman who leads the way as a forward with 17.6 points per game. Next up is big Jeff Foote who averages 12.4 points and 8.2 rebounds followed by guard Louis Dale who puts in just over twelve points per game. Damn, they all have such smart names. Just saying. In the first round of the tourney, Cornell took out #5 Temple who many thought could make it to the sweet sixteen themselves. Dale and Wittman had 21 and 20 respectively, while big Jeff Foote added 16 points and 7 rebounds. The final score was 78-65 which certainly surprised Temple… but not Cornell, or their fans. Moving onto the 2nd round, it was #4 Wisconsin who fell victim to the Big Red as Cornell lead 43-31 at half. Dale and Wittman put up 28 of the Big Red’s 43 points in the first twenty minutes and the Big Red continue their slaughtering of the Badgers in the second half. Sometimes… it just pays to be smart.
The Wildcats have looked impressive for the entire 80-minutes of basketball they have played in the tournament and there is no reason why it won’t continue against Cornell.
TheCoach’s Pick: Kentucky Wildcats
Who you got? Comment below…
The Washington Huskies are HOT folks! Yeah, they are 26-9 (11-7 in conference) this season and comes from the Pac 10 Conference, where their biggest competition is the California Golden Bears (who are actually ranked higher than the Huskies). In the 1st round, Washington had a close call against Louisville beating them 80-78 and Isaiah Thomas (you seriously named your kid that?) put up 19 points but forward Quincy Pondexter was the star as he hit the game winning shot with 1.7 seconds left to give the Huskies the lead (Pondexter finished with 18 points). In the 2nd round, they let the rest of the tournament know they weren’t messing around by beating the 8th ranked team in the nation, the New Mexico Lobos 82-64 and completely dominated the entire game. Pondexter lead the way again with 18 points, while team-mates Thomas and Matthew Bryan-Amaning both added 15 a piece. Washington is the kind of team that if they play up to their potential will leave most teams wondering why they even dressed to play but not the West Virginia Mountaineers, who quite frankly are just as good as the Huskies… and playing up to their potential as well.
The West Virginia Mountaineers are the 5th ranked team in the nation and come out of the Big East Conference which is packed with Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Marquette, among others. The Big East sent eight teams to the NCAA tournament this year and considering WVU was 28-6 on the year and 13-5 in in-conference games, its highly unlikely an out-of-conference team that is low-ranked beats the WVU squad. The Mountaineers lost their six games this year too all top contenders in Purdue, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Villanova, Pittsburgh and UConn. What this means is don’t expect a #11 seed to beat West Virginia, even if Washington is hot as hell. Forward De’Sean Butler leads the way for West Virginia with 17.2 points per game, 6.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists. Team-mates and fellow forward’s Kevin Jones and Devin Ebanks both average 13.6 and 12.0 respectively and just shy of 10.0 points per game is guard Darryl Bryant with 9.6. The Mountaineers played Morgan State in round one, beating them 77-50 in a rather easy win. Jones and Ebanks put up 33 points combined, while it was De’Sean Butler who had five steals to go with his nine points and dominated defensively. Ebanks also brought in thirteen rebounds earning the double-double. Moving onto round two, West Virginia met up with #10 Missouri and in the first half MIZZ kept it close, but then the Mountaineers gathered in the locker-room at half time, they came out a different team and dominated as soon as the clock started, eventually pulling out the W. The concern for many WVU fans is will beating a #15, #10 and #11 seed thus far be horrible preparation for a likely Elite Eight match-up versus Kentucky.
Expect this game to be a shoot-out and to go down to the wire. The Huskies have been playing great basketball as of late and will be looking to make that oh’ so elusive Elite Eight round. I’m sure the Mountaineers will have something to say about that.
TheCoach’s Pick: West Virginia Mountaineers
Also, Make Sure To Take A Look At The Other Brackets
Filed Under: Sports
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